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When Shahrukh Khan's most recent action-comedy "Chennai Express", released there was excitement among his fans not only in India, but in distant Peru too.
Located over 16,700 km away, the Latin American country got hooked on to Bollywood in the 1970s after the screening of movies like "Mother India" and "Mera Naam Joker", according to Peruvian Bollywood enthusiasts, who know by heart Hindi film songs and dialogues.
With its romantic and dramatic themes as well as foot- tapping songs, Bollywood is now a lesser known secret passion of the Latin American country.
"Peru is no stranger to the phenomenon called Bollywood. Bollywood movies have been rooted in Peruvian hearts for so long. In the 70s, many Indian cinema, very dramatic cinema including 'Mother India' and 'Mera Naam Joker' were a success in its time," says Jhon Bellido, head of Lima-based Indian Cinema Fan Association.
Bellido says after the 70s there was a lull followed by a revival in the early 2000s.
"Even in these days, new movies and actors are worshipped. Culturally, the passion never died because it passed on from parents to children. This is why most of Peruvians know at least a little of Indian cinema," Bellido, an avid Shah Rukh Khan fan, told PTI over an e-mailed interview from Lima, Peru's capital city.
The Association, says, Bellido, aims to create a cultural and artistic movement related to the film industry of India in various languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Punjabi. It also organises weekend Bollywood choreography workshops and Bollywood-themed parties to promote the Indian film genre.
Despite a small Indian diaspora in Peru, films like '3 Idiots', 'My Name Is Khan', 'Guzaarish' and 'Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu' received an overwhelming response in the Spanish-speaking nation, says Mary Alejandra Torres, who takes care of the Association's social networks.
Recently the Rohit Shetty-directed film "Chennai Express" starring Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone became the first Hindi film to be released in Peru on the same day it hit theatres in India.
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